WBB vs. Georgetown takeaways: MU overcomes rough shooting night


Photo by Austin Anderson

Erika Davenport led the Golden Eagles with 11 rebounds against Georgetown Friday.

Final Score: Marquette 80, Georgetown 70


Points: Natisha Hiedeman (18)

Rebounds: Erika Davenport (11)

Assists: Danielle King (6)

Planting the third seed

With tonight’s win over Georgetown, Marquette adds another accolade to an already impressive season: a clinched third seed in the BIG EAST. Marquette wins any potential tie-breaker with Villlanova, who they play in their last game of the season on Sunday, thanks to their two victories over DePaul.

“This is a huge win,” head coach Carolyn Kieger said. “Georgetown’s a really, really good team. Obviously it helps our NCAA resume as we keep just going down the stretch. You know, we needed this one, and I think out team just found a way to win.”

The third slot guarantees Kieger’s squad a bye in the first round of the BIG EAST Tournament, and nudges them ever closer to true title contenders in the conference. For a young team fresh off a below -.500 season, it’s an impressive step and a good indicator of what’s to come.

A horrible, no good, very bad shooting night

Tonight’s game helped put an impressive stamp on an impressive season. It was an unimpressive win, nonetheless.

After playing perhaps their best quarter ever to start the game against DePaul last Sunday, basketball karma caught up to the Golden Eagles and forced them into one of their worst shooting performances of the season.

At halftime, Kieger’s squad shot only 37 percent from the field, hitting 10 of their 27 shots for 33 points.

Georgetown’s pesky defense also forced nine turnovers with five steals in the first two quarters, and finished with nine steals and 14 turnovers forced on the whole.

Fortunately, the Golden Eagles were kept afloat thanks to two key factors: Georgetown’s high propensity to foul and the Hoyas’ somehow even more ugly shooting night.

The Hoyas sent Marquette to the line an incredible 16 times through the first 20 minutes and spent the last 2:39 minutes in the bonus. By night’s end, Marquette scored 19 points of 28 free throw attempts, over 10 more than their average number of attempts per game.

Through the second half, the Golden Eagles righted the ship — though only barely. Some hot shooting from deep and an uptick in pace pushed the Golden Eagles’ final field goal percentage closer to respectability at 42.2 percent (27-of-52 overall), boosted by an impressive 7-for-17 line from deep (41.2 percent).

“Sometimes you just got to stay confident, gotta keep shooting them,” Kieger said. “Shooters are gonna make them. Sometimes you just gotta shoot your way out of it.”

The Hoyas were not so lucky in the second half, finishing the game at a just barely tolerable 40.3 percent, further stymied by a horrific 2-for-14 shooting night from three.

Battle on the boards

Marquette and Georgetown are two of the most prolific rebounding teams in the conference. The Hoyas crash the offensive glass every game, nabbing 15.6 boards of their own misses a night, virtually tied for first in the conference. Marquette, meanwhile, pulls down 27.5 defensive rebounds a night, also virtually tied for first in the conference.

The stage was set for a presumed battle of the boards tonight, and, conveniently, each team seemingly dressed an army of shot-missing rebound generators. Each time a Georgetown shot failed to go in, a fascinating meta game-within-the-game would take hold, with two stylistically different teams trying to impose their will.

Marquette won out, allowing only nine offensive boards, and out-rebounding their opponents by a hefty 49-36 margin. Usual double-double suspect Erika Davenport was good for 11 rebounds tonight, though it was an impressive team effort overall that helped win the day.

“All five of us needed to find a body and push back, and I thought we did a fantastic job with that the majority of the game,” Kieger said.

Even 5-foot-5 guard Danielle King, perpetually the smallest player on the floor, did her part and ended the night with nine rebounds.